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Italian Court of Cassation, Joined Chambers, No. 15614/2006, 20 July 2006


The request for the removal of the crucifix from a school classroom falls to the jurisdiction of the administrative judge.

Normative references

Articles 2, 3, 7, 8, 19, 20, 21 of the Italian Constitution
Art. 118 of Royal Decree no. 965 of 1924
119 of the Royal decree n. 1297 of 1928 (Table C)
Legislative Decree n. 297 of 1994


1. The request to remove the crucifix from the wall of a school classroom directly and immediately invests the power of the Administration with regard to the organization and methods of providing the school service, within which the provisions concerning the display of religious symbols in the classrooms. Therefore, when provisions of the school authority are being discussed which have implemented general provisions adopted in the exercise of administrative power, and therefore attributable to the Public Administration, the jurisdiction belongs to the Administrative Judge.
2. The crucifix, due to its eschatological value as a fundamental symbol of the Christian religion, cannot be considered as any component of school furniture, undoubtedly evoking, with its very presence, problems that transcend the sphere of public service.


The ruling, made in a preliminary jurisdictional settlement, recognizes the competence of the administrative judge. However, unlike the orientation adopted by the latter – which believes to read an absorbing cultural value in the crucifix –, the Cassation attributes to the symbol a strictly religious value.